How to develop a six sigma culture

The buzz all across industries and businesses about Six Sigma is being noticed at large. Sensing its importance, the numbers of organizations have started to develop Six Sigma culture that transforms the passive participants into the active participants with the drive for solving the often faced problems.

Six Sigma culture development imperative are:

  1. Effective time management
  2. Strategic planning
  3. Shorter cycle time
  4. Consistent quality improvement
  5. Improved customer loyalty
  6. Efficient supply chain management

Characteristics of Six Sigma Culture:

Six Sigma is a quality management approach concentrated on identification, quantification, and elimination of errors in diverse processes and products’ design. Six Sigma culture encompasses all the issues pertaining to leadership, teamwork, goals, metrics, customer satisfaction and cost. The professionally developed six sigma culture brings the operating systems and processes together developing a unique sense of high degree respect among all the workers. Six Sigma culture development needs the companies not only to advance the technologies to refine the processes for better products but also to stimulate the culture in all the verticals to perform with excellence. In a Six Sigma organization, everyone knows his role and importance as the key link of chain management. Measuring own success becomes a habit of every employee in Six Sigma culture; regular practising of Six Sigma principles transforms the way to analyze their contribution and performance. Six Sigma black belt training helps to the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvement projects.

7 Key Challenges for Six Sigma Cultural Change:

As per my personal experience, the success of any cultural development in an organization highly depends upon the degree of acceptance among the employees. The success in Six Sigma development is related more to people and less to tools. Each organization has its own DNA; therefore, the task of specific culture development is full of challenges. Seven major challenges, the most of management experts experience in developing a Six Sigma culture, are:

  • Maintaining the culture after initial introduction
  • Reinforcing the culture all the times
  • Involving all the team members
  • Convincing the team members
  • Providing tailored Six Sigma training
  • Encouraging the support team members
  • Addressing the initial stage practical issues

Roadmap for Six Sigma Culture Development:

Providing tailored Six Sigma training to the concerned employees is just the beginning. Six Sigma culture development needs a well-designed roadmap that ensures smooth growth of the organization. On the basis of my discussing with experienced Six Sigma experts, I share eight steps to help you introduce and develop Six-Sigma culture:

  1. Understanding the Benefits of Six Sigma Culture: Before initiating the process, you must be convinced of the benefits of Six Sigma implementation.
  2. Changing Employees’ Mindset: For the success of any cultural change, it needs to be accepted by one and all as ‘modus operandi’, ‘norm’ or ‘the way we should work’. Sharing the vision for Six Sigma culture development is the start up line.
  3. Benchmarking the Organization: Everyone should be committed to perform the best to set the new benchmark in his capacity; as a collective result, organization becomes a milestone for the competitors.
  4. Providing Proper Environment to Implement Lean Six Sigma Principles: Providing state of art support to implement the Six Sigma cultural principles is the key responsibility of the top management people; otherwise, even the convinced and committed employees start feeling helpless in Six Sigma journey.
  5. Redefining Management Policies: With the introduction of any cultural change in an organization, you need to modify the management policies regarding governance, metrics, recognition, rewards etc.
  6. Periodic Reviews & Accountability: Any cultural change produces challenges for the employees to perform in the new environment. You need to redefine the metrics for accountability and career growth within organization.
  7. Improving Communication within Organization: Six Sigma leaders are expected to initiate the cultural changes by encouraging the support staff to hit the common goal. As a Six Sigma champion, you should crush all the communication barriers.
  8. Sharing Examples and Case Studies: All the employees after Six Sigma training must share the success stories about the Six Sigma culture development with other team members to train their minds for the changes.


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